You may have already been on all kinds of holidays right from a cruise to a safari, a skiing holiday to a hiking vacation, but if you haven’t been on a walking holiday yet, you have missed out on an experience of a lifetime. There are walking specialists like Mickledore who can help you in picking out a walking holiday destination where you can soak in the beauty of the scenery whilst indulging in rich history as you walk. A walking holiday not only lets you take in your surroundings, something we all likely miss by simply hopping onto a bus, but also helps you experience a healthy holiday where you can eat to your heart's delight and shed the holiday weight as soon as you start to gain it. Now, how good is that?
Considered one of the most popular walking paths of Britain, the Hadrian’s Wall Path dates back 2000 years. Built by the Roman emperor Hadrianus, the wall has aged remarkably well with several sections still intact like its milecastles. The path is around 84 miles long and runs close to the wall, giving you a fabulous view of the rugged and breathtaking scenic beauty of Northumberland. You can either walk from East to West, starting at Wallsend and going all the way to Bowness-on-Solway. This way you walk the path in the direction the wall was built and encounter all the milecastles in order but if you don't like the wind blowing in your face, you can always choose to go from west to east. Either way, the thrill of the walk and the scenery stays equally stunning.
Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way
This 93 mile-long walk that combines the Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path gives you a gorgeous view of the Norfolk countryside and coastline. A trail that starts in Knettishall takes you through the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk all the way to Hunstanton. The Norfolk Coast Path starts from the coast of Hunstanton to end at Cromer, covering a stretch of 45 miles. Both these paths give you a different kind of landscape to feast your eyes on. Green lanes dotted with archaeological ruins and windmills greet you on the Peddars Way while fishing villages, beaches, quaint seaside towns, and nature reserves that are home to a lot of wildlife line the Norfolk Coast Path.
The Cotswold Way takes you on a trip down the lanes of history as you walk through the market town of Chipping Campden which still holds onto traces of the medieval age. Neolithic burial mounds, pre-historic churches, mansions, and hill forts transport you back in time. The quaint villages of Cotswold Way enthrall you to no end as you see the gargoyles in Winchcombe Church, Pittville Pump Room of Cheltenham and the tiny cottages of Stanton covered in roses. And we do hope you get to spot the Cotswold Lion which is not a lion but wait for it...actually a sheep! The walking trail in Cotswold Way ends in Bath where you must see the Roman Baths and the museum.
Northumberland Coast Path
You will get to see some castles, a stunning coastline and then a few more castles! That is what a walk along the Northumberland Coast Path offers you along with sandy beaches, rocky cliff tops, rolling dunes and wildlife from the nature reserves on the coast. One of the sites along the Northumberland Coast that deserves a special mention is Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island which was built in the 1500s on a volcanic mound. When you are done taking pictures of the castle ruins, you can spend some time spotting seals and whales on the coast as you admire the coastal birds and the wildflowers that add to the old world charm of this path.
South Downs Way
South Downs Way is the 100 miles National Trail in the South Downs National Park. It runs between the ancient city of Winchester and the seaside town of Eastbourne. The trail is also popular among cyclists and horse riders and is a fairly easy one for walking too. One of the well-known sites along this path is the magnificent chalk formations of The Devil’s Dyke and the Seven Sisters that will make you want to stop for a while and marvel at their beauty. This path gives you a sense of tranquility as you walk through the gorgeous countryside with its cornfields, wildflowers and an occasional sheep bobbing its head up from between them.
The Thames Path
The Thames Path along the greatest river of England is as amazing as the river itself. It stretches across 185 miles, giving you a fabulous landscape that has everything from meadows, market towns and villages to splendid wildflowers blooming in quaint villages. Starting from its source in Kemble, the path and the river meander through several counties before you reach Oxford, home to Stonehenge. You can also stop at Windsor to have a look at the famous Windsor Castle.
Dales Way is a riverside walk that starts from Ilkley, which is a market town on the eastern edge of the Dales. The path further takes you through Wharfedale and Dentdale, crosses into the foothills of the Lake District and finishes on the shores of Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake. Dales Way goes through Yorkshire Dales which is a National Park dotted with barns, limestone dry stone walls, villages, and hamlets. When exploring the Dales Way, you stay mostly on the riverside paths bordering the Rivers Wharfe and Dee. The village of Burnsall in this way is a picture-perfect English village with a meandering river, arched bridges, church, and wildflowers completing this picture.
Cleveland Way gives you a walking holiday in the North York Moors National Park in the northeast of England. Starting in Helmsley, this 108 miles long trail goes up to Filey on the east coast. There are two different paths here for inland walking and coastal walking with each having its own unique charm. As you walk down the trail from Helmsley to Saltburn-by-the-Sea, you see a verdant landscape that has storybook farmlands and moorlands along with several burial forts, Norman Abbeys and castles. When you take the other path that goes from Saltburn-by-the-Sea to Filey, you get to see the fabulous coastline with old fishing villages and some interesting cliffs.
When planning a holiday at any of these locations, remember to pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes so your feet don't tire easily. Once there, spend some time smelling the wildflowers, taking a picture of your partner chasing a butterfly and just relax. After all, a walking holiday is about savoring every minute and etching those beautiful moments in your memory forever.